Newly Formed Union Stages Walkout at Private School in Seaport
The Blue School, located on Water Street, has been the scene of recent labor strife.
Teachers and staff at a prestigious private school in Lower Manhattan, the Blue School, mounted a one-day strike on May 24, to protest what they see as the school’s “unlawful refusal to recognize and bargain with our union.”
This development followed a “bargaining order” issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on April 7. That ruling, which had the effect of giving official recognition and sanction to a year-long organizing drive, followed an election in which 28 Blue School employees (out of a total of 48 eligible staff) voted. Among this group, 24 employees cast their ballots in favor of joining the newly formed Blue School Union, which is affiliated with Local 2110 of the Technical, Office & Professional Union, a branch of the United Auto Workers (itself a part of the AFL-CIO).
In a statement to Blue School families, union members said, “we do not make this decision lightly, and it comes only after exhausting other options since our election in August 2021. Blue School is breaking the law by refusing to recognize our legally certified union. We are striking to protect our fundamental, democratic right to organize collectively and secure a voice in our working conditions and terms of employment.”
Efforts to unionize by Blue School teachers and staff began in December 2020, when (the union alleges) the school imposed a round of unilateral job and salary cuts. As this campaign gathered momentum, the Blue School retained Littler Mendelson, the largest “union avoidance” law firm in the United States, which has gained renown representing corporate clients (such as Starbucks, Amazon, and Delta Airlines), and a commensurate level of notoriety among employees seeking collective bargaining rights.
Ari Bloom, a middle school math teacher, said, “Blue School brands itself as offering a progressive approach to education. The curriculum we use even includes studies of activism and labor union history. It’s hypocritical for them to fight our union this way. We are striking because we want Blue School to stop abusing the legal process and come to the bargaining table.”
While union membership is nearly universal at public schools, and is also widespread at universities and colleges, labor organizing campaigns have become increasingly common in private schools. In recent years, staff at Brooklyn Friends School, City & Country School, the Manhattan Country School, Studio in a School, and Common Ground have all joined Local 2110, the same union chapter that now seeks to represent Blue School employees.
Not for a Lack of Interest
Trinity Underwrites Benevo-Lending Initiative for Public-Service Groups
Trinity Church’s grant program has funded a Lower Manhattan public service organization that provides zero-interest loans and consulting services to other not-for-profits, as they continue to struggle with pandemic-related resource deficits.
Public Comment Period for BPCA’s Plans to Build Flood Walls and Elevated Landscaping
Extended to Friday, June 10, 2022
For several years, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has been working on a plan to rebuild and elevate Wagner Park and the areas to its north and south, from First Place and the Museum of Jewish Heritage to Pier A Plaza. This is the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, currently in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement(DEIS) phase. Now through June 10, the public may submit comments on the design. To read more…
Top experts will share their insights and examine the possibilities and challenges associated with China’s Green Belt and Road Initiative. Since its inception in 2013, the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been striving to promote economic development and inter-regional connectivity across the globe, and over 140 member countries have joined the Initiative. To reduce the negative environmental impact of the investment in BRI countries, China launched the Green Belt and Road initiative to increase BRI’s environmental sustainability and align its projects with its 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Given the current geopolitical and COVID-19 situation, what are GBRI’s most pressing challenges and most important opportunities? Free.
Observe and sketch the human figure. Each week a model will strike short and long poses for participants to draw. An artist/educator will offer constructive suggestions and critique. Drawing materials provided, and artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media.
Take a self guided tour of the tall ship Wavertree, and visit the 12 Fulton Street galleries to view the exhibitions “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionares” aboard the Great Liners.
Fictional walking tour. When an out-of-work Downtown performance artist takes a job leading a Hamilton Walking Tour even further Downtown, she is prepared to give the standard tour about the trendiest Founding Father. But when an unexpected fork in the road presents a path not taken, she can’t help but follow it, uncovering the secrets contained within the oldest streets in New York and revealing the New York you always knew, or wanted to know. Also at 5:30pm. $20 ticket comes with a $20 voucher to use at a local participating restaurant.
Fictional walking tour. Javel Washington, an accidental time-traveler, arrives in present day NYC with a warning from the future. In a race against the Bots of his time, Javel hopes the stories of New Yorkers, will offer insight into the value of resilience. With the help of our audience, Javel, could discover that what makes us human will always be our secret weapon. Also at 6pm. $20 ticket comes with a $20 voucher to use at a local participating restaurant.
Embolden your artwork amidst the flower-filled and seasonally evolving palette of BPC’s verdant gardens. An artist/ educator will provide ideas and instruction. Materials provided.
En Garde Arts Theater
John Street United Methodist Church, 44 John Street
How many steps does it take to transform your life? Inspired by interviews with real New Yorkers, Sidewalk Echoes invites us into the world of Lower Manhattan’s small, independent business owners. It traces their journeys to New York City and the pathways they’ve taken to survive in the unpredictable world of NYC’s oldest neighborhood. Weaving together history, fact, and fiction, Sidewalk Echoes details the remarkable choices that everyday people must make to reinvent their circumstances, and in turn themselves, against all odds. Free.
Mother Ocean Father Nation is by Nishant Batsha, tonight in conversation with Kanishk Tharoor. A riveting, tender debut novel, following a brother and sister whose paths diverge—one forced to leave, one left behind—in the wake of a nationalist coup in the South Pacific.
National Museum of the American Indian, Diker Pavilion
Join contemporary artist Keith BraveHeart (Oglala Lakota) as he discusses Oscar Howe and his influence on both his journey as an artist as well as his art, which draws strongly from his Lakota background. This talk is related to the exhibition Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe. Sketch pads and pencils will be available for sketch-along opportunities led by Keith. Also at 1pm. Free.
This tour explores Battery Park City’s southern district, which is home to the Skyscraper Museum and includes some of BPC’s earliest landscapes and infrastructure, including the residential enclaves built in the 1990s that followed the 1979 Cooper Eckstut Master Plan. We will visit historic Pier A, Wagner Park, and South Cove, as well as the green spaces that connect to the Esplanade, the first waterfront park in New York since the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade in 1951. We will also learn about the developing Resilience Action Plan of the Battery Park City Authority. The tour will be repeated on June 24. Free.
Many of us have reached a critical phase of burnout, one in which just showing up for work zaps the energy we previously devoted to innovative thinking and inventive solutions. But no matter what field of work you’re in, you need to generate ideas. And to generate those ideas, you have to get creative. Join RedBox Innovation consultant Edwin Garcia to learn an actionable method to bring creativity to any practice. Participants will explore strategies to create original ideas for any challenge and any industry. After generating your ideas, you’ll figure out how to choose the most appropriate creative solution and walk away inspired to do some serious out-of-the box thinking.
National Museum of the American Indian, Diker Pavilion
Join contemporary artist Keith BraveHeart (Oglala Lakota) as he discusses Oscar Howe and his influence on both his journey as an artist as well as his art, which draws strongly from his Lakota background. This talk is related to the exhibition Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe. Sketch pads and pencils will be available for sketch-along opportunities let by Keith. Also at 1pm. Free.
Based on a Hungarian folktale, Son of the White Mare (Marcell Jankovics,1981), is a swirling, color-mad epic journey to save the universe. Reminiscent of the hallucinatory palette of “Yellow Submarine” and the rich visual storytelling of “Fantasia,” critics have deemed it one of the greatest psychedelic animated movies ever made. Free popcorn will be served, and a discussion will follow the screenings. This film is rated PG 13.
An End to Binary Ballots?
Gender Requirements for Some Elected Offices Sparks Calls for Reform
Ever wonder why New York State has legal quotas limiting how many women can be elected as district leaders? Blame Eleanor Roosevelt. Some background: A district leader is an unsalaried, elected official who represents an Assembly District, and essentially ensures that a political party is being governed democratically. Usually, there is one district leader for every Assembly District. But the Democratic party mandates two district leaders per Assembly District: one male and one female. To read more…
Entry for the Gentry; Heave-Ho for the Hoi Polloi
Analysis By Housing Group Cites Threats to Affordability in Lower Manhattan
A leading housing advocacy organization has conducted an exhaustive look at threats to affordability in every community in the five boroughs, and has found that Lower Manhattan ranks among the top ten most at-risk neighborhoods by three pivotal metrics.
The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), an umbrella organization of 100 non-profit affordable housing and economic development groups that serve low- and moderate-income residents in all five boroughs of the City, has published the 2022 edition of its annual roundup, “How Is Affordable Housing Threatened In Your Neighborhood?” To read more…
They strut, they kiss, they preen. Click on the image to see the Pigeon Dance.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturday 11:30am-5pm, May through Thanksgiving
Today in History: June 8
“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”
– Arthur C. Clarke
Today is World Oceans Day, an annual, international day that was first celebrated in 1992. It is intended to call attention to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around the world, and foster public interest in the protection of the ocean and the sustainable management of its resources. The United Nations assigns each annual World Oceans Day a theme; this year’s theme is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. Above, a container ship heads under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to the Atlantic Ocean.
632 – Muhammad, Islamic prophet, dies in Medina and is succeeded by Abu Bakr who becomes the first caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.
793 – Vikings raid the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of Norse activity in the British Isles.
1042 – Edward the Confessor becomes King of England, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England.
1783 – Laki, a volcano in Iceland, begins an eight-month eruption which kills over 9,000 people and starts a seven-year famine.
1789 – James Madison introduces twelve proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in Congress.
1887 – Herman Hollerith applies for US patent #395,781 for the ‘Art of Compiling Statistics’, which was his punched card calculator.
1949 – The celebrities Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson are named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.
1949 – George Orwell’s 1984 is published.
1969 – Brian Jones is asked to leave The Rolling Stones.
1992 – The first World Oceans Day is celebrated, coinciding with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2020 – Former astronaut Kathy Sullivan is the first woman to reach deepest point of the ocean – Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench. She was also the first American woman to spacewalk.
2021 – National Geographic announces it is officially recognizing the South Ocean asthe world’s fifth ocean
1625 – Giovanni Domenico Cassini, Italian-French mathematician and astronomer (d. 1712)
1867 – Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (d. 1959)
1916 – Francis Crick, English biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
1933 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, actress, and television host (d. 2014)
1944 – Boz Scaggs, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1949 – Emanuel Ax, Polish-American pianist and educator
1955 – Tim Berners-Lee, English inventor (World Wide Web)
1958 – Keenan Ivory Wayans, American comedian
1970 – Gabrielle Giffords, American politician
1977 – Kanye West, American rapper, songwriter, and record producer
632 – Muhammad, Arabian prophet (b. 570)
1376 – Edward the Black Prince, English knight and heir to King Edward III, dies of dysentery at 46
1505 – Hongzhi Emperor of China (b. 1470)
1714 – Sophia of Hanover (b. 1630)
1795 – Louis XVII of France (b. 1785)
1809 – Thomas Paine, English-American theorist and author (b. 1737)
1845 – Andrew Jackson, American soldier and seventh US President, dies at 78
1859 – Walter Hunt, American inventor (safety pin, sewing machine), dies at 62
1982 – Satchel Paige, American baseball player and coach (b. 1906)
2018 – Anthony Bourdain, American-French celebrity chef, author, and TV personality, commits suicide by hanging at 61